Chainsaw Man Producer Reveals How Denji Avoids Shonen Jump's Tropes

Chainsaw Man is on the horizon at last, and the anime is promising to be one of the most anticipated in recent history. After all, Tatsuki Fujimoto's manga is a mega hit on its own, and the anime is being overseen by a top-notch team at MAPPA Studio. That group includes producer Makoto Kimura, and ComicBook recently got to chat with the executive about how Denji doesn't fit the typical mold of a Shonen Jump hero.

The conversation was had during Anime Expo this month as Kimura came to Los Angeles to promote Chainsaw Man. It was there the producer spoke with us about Denji as a protagonist, and they are confident there is no other lead like him under Shueisha.

"The part that really attracted me to the title is something we've mentioned a bit. Denji has a a very different hero image. Usually when you have a Shonen Jump title, there are three traits heroes exhibit: perseverance, friendship, and loyalty. But here, it's very different," Kimura shared.

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"Denji is not something that you would see in those titles. He even laughs like a villain, you know? It's just a different perspective of what you see in a protagonist. So, I thought that was going to be really interesting."

If you have read Chainsaw Man, then you will know Kimura is spot-on with his analysis. Denji is a very different character from any you'll find in shonen staples like One Piece or My Hero Academia. This rough upbringing and worldview are unapologetically dark. When it comes to manga, you would expect to find someone like Denji in Attack on Titan or even Berserk given their focus on survival. This stripped aesthetic isn't common in Shonen Jump, but it definitely gives Denji something unique to work with. And soon, MAPPA will bring that part of Denji to life on the small screen. 

What do you think about Denji's reputation in the shonen fandom? Are there any others like him in print these days? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.